Ministries that support our lives: The Visitor newspaper

Categories: Around the Diocese

Each month, The Visitor will invite guest writers to spotlight one of the ministries supported by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. This is the first in a series.

By Denise Kociemba

When I was a young girl, there was a large, stone Madonna over the television set. The criteria for watching a television show was how we felt after looking into Mary’s eyes.

visitorsAs Catholics, we are encouraged to have crucifixes, statues and icons on our walls and dressers, not to adore, but to remind us of what we cannot visually see in our secular world: our Lord, his grace, his peace and the saints.

We embrace tools that help us focus on what is truly important on this earth and direct our energies to help and encourage others on their journey. The Visitor is also one of those tools.

The Visitor is in a visually prominent place in our home and serves as an enormous resource. It keeps us connected with our greater faith community. There are articles to inform us about current world events, Catholic teachings, Pope Francis, the Year of Mercy and other important topics of our world church.

On our own diocesan level, we are invited to participate and journey with all ages to help grow the knowledge of God’s love through faith and action, whether that be at a homeless shelter or a breakfast. The Visitor informs us of places of need, moments of great joy and of great sadness, of discovery and healing.

The Visitor is a welcome companion on my faith journey. Unlike stationary statues and icons that, after a while, seem to blend into the wall, The Visitor is dynamic, always changing, just as my needs are always changing.

The previous edition, dated Jan. 29, 2016, was particularly helpful in preparing for and planning for a meaningful, heart-changing Lenten season. Besides the information about the Lenten penitential regulations, there were articles to enhance my prayer time, encourage fasting and offer suggestions for almsgiving. The notices for Lenten retreats, parish missions and reconciliation schedules will be helpful as Lent progresses. The pull-out pastoral letter by Bishop Kettler with reflective questions will be a wonderful instrument for reflection this Lent.

The Visitor should be in every Catholic home, and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal helps to make that happen. Whether you pick it up once or twice or three times, you have just increased the number of times you have allowed God into your thoughts. And what a better world it is because you did. Allow God to be your daily Visitor!